When it comes to diy resin toys, I believe, the best way to articulate a figure is through magnetic articulation.
First pick the size magnet you will use. If it’s too big, the magnet won’t fit inside the part. If it’s too small, the magnet won’t hold the weight of the piece. Measure you piece first.
I get all my magnets from CMS magnetics https://www.magnet4sale.com
DO NOT BUY YOUR MAGNETS ON EBAY OR AMAZON!
They are almost always the wrong strength. You will NOT get what you order. It has taken some time to find a reliable source for magnets and it’s CMS. Do not make the same mistakes I’ve made. I’ve done the leg work for you.
CMS Magnetics has a wide array of different sizes, shapes and strengths of magnets. Just go take a look.
A quick lesson in magnetic strength. An N52 magnet is the strongest magnet you can buy. But it is also the most brittle. The stronger the magnet, the more brittle it will be. Sometimes will break when they slam together even under their own magnetic strength.
Most everything I’ve ever made uses a 1/4”x1/8” N52 disc. But I’ve seen people use spheres, countersink, and ring shaped magnets. I always encourage experimentation. I use the same size magnets, with the same polarity, so all (or most) of my toys are interchangeable.
I start by making a cavity in the toy.
Bore a hole where you want to place a magnet.
Fill the cavity with some clay.
I use Super Sculpey. Fit the magnet in the cavity. Harden the clay. This can be tricky because it involves baking or heating plastic and, yes, I have melted toys doing this.
If you don’t want to risk it, you could try and use JB Weld “plasicweld”. Keep working with it until its not so tacky then try fitting the magnet in and out of the cavity. You don’t want to fuse the magnet into the cavity. I’ve never done this but it works in theory.
I’ve used this with varying results.
I use Super Sculpey and a heat gun. I heat the inside of the cavity by heating up the magnet really hot with the heat gun and then put it inside the cavity. That will harden the inside a little bit without blasting the entire piece with heat. I’ll do that a few times.
Blast the magnet with some heat from a heat gun and put it in the unhardened Sculpey to “bake“ it from the inside.
Another air drying clay you can use is Epoxysculpt. Again, I’ve never used this. But I guess you sculpt it on and it dries in 24 hours. Could be worth a try.
So now you have your magnet cavity. Now put one wherever you want to have a point of articulation.
The Ree Yees body has 5 cavities in which to place magnets.
Do not put a seam line through your magnet cavity. It will mess up all your hard work. Skirt your magnet holes when you make your seam line.
Your seam should go around your magnet hole, not through them.
When you are ready to pour your silicone for your mold, make sure all your holes are filled first. If you get a bubble in your magnet cavity, this method will not work out. Bend a small piece of wire and angle and scoop the silicone in little by little.
Try to get all your magnets going in one direction. The magnets from CMS are all marked on one side. Use those marks as a guide.
I glue the magnets in with Gorilla Glue Super Glue. But again this is up to you. It works for me.
Sometimes the magnet cavities will warp a little in the casting process. Just Dremel it out a bit. You should be gold.
That’s about it. If you have any questions about Magnetic Articulation please leave a question in the comments section and I will answer to the best of my ability!
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